It’s only a matter of time before Silvio Berlusconi imposes himself on Adriano Galliani and forces the Milan vice president to get rid of Massimiliano Allegri. At least, that’s what’s left to infer as Milan’s president continues to openly question his coach, undermining the Rossoneri boss despite the fact a summer of upheaval and a season of potholes haven’t prevented Allegri from guiding his team to third.
Starting the day one point ahead of Fiorentina, Milan’s still not assured Champions League soccer next year, though it’s unclear whether clearing that plateau will matter. According to today’s La Gazzetta dello Sport, Berlusconi has already identified the man he wants on the sidelines next year and is intent on overrunning Galliani’s support of Allegri.
Over the course of 10 seasons at Milan, Clarence Seedorf made himself into a club legend before moving to Botafogo last summer when his contract would not renewed. It would then be a sweet irony if his star power and ties to happier days replaced Allegri, seeing he was part of the mass exodus that’s contributed to Milan’s current state. Though it’s unclear if the Dutch midfielder is willing to hang up his boots and leave Brazil, Berlusconi’s telling those around him that he wants Seedorf to coach Milan.
Of the 19 players who logged the most Serie A minutes for Milan last season, 10 have left, a group that includes Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva. The turnover led to a terrible start, one which put Allegri’s job in jeopardy, yet the Rossoneri have stabilized. They’re nowhere near the level that won them the scudetto two years ago, but that kind of performance can’t be expected amid so many changes. Having Milan on the cusp of Champions League is achievement on its own.
But Milan’s taken one point from the last three games, and they collapsed in Champions League against Barcelona. There’s room for Berlusconi to write his own narrative. If that story includes bringing back a legend, it makes it easier to tell, even if that legend has no experience on the sidelines.
To replace somebody he never seemed to like, Berlusconi doesn’t need facts as much as hope.
Borussia Dortmund substitute and USMNT phenom Christian Pulisic subbed into Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League match versus Real Madrid and made a difference.
Given 17 minutes to work, Pulisic needed about 10. The 18-year-old American sent in a cross that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang couldn’t volley but fell to another BVB player.
[ MORE: Big Sam canned ]
That was Andre Schurrle, and the ex-Wolfsburg and Chelsea man lashed a shot behind Navas to make it 2-2 at the Westfalenstadion.
Pulisic does well here, real well, and had a chance to make it 2-2 himself that was smothered by Navas.
A 67-day reign as a national team blown up by allegations of corruption? We’ve seen similar situations in world soccer, but certainly not at a high-profile, traditional headline-grabber like the England national team.
[ MORE: Big Sam canned ]
English legend Alan Shearer called the Three Lions a “laughing stock”, adding that, “I’m angry, I’m sad, I’m staggered at the misjudgement from a guy who admitted this was his dream job.”
The UEFA Champions League’s group stage hits its second round of matches Tuesday, with two Premier League teams in play and a bevy of big names from outside England.
[ MORE: Dempsey out for 2016 ]
Leicester City 1-0 Porto
The chemistry between Algeria and now Leicester City teammates Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani is very real.
The former fed the latter for an opening goal on Tuesday in UEFA Champions League play at King Power Stadium, as the Foxes have opened up a 1-0 lead on Porto.
You can imagine the visitors aren’t too pleased with having to meet up with Slimani, who they just managed to see out of their league only to watch him arrive in their UCL group.
And how about the mad dabbing kid shown just after Slimani’s celebration? Wild nights in Leicester.
CSKA Moscow 0-0 Tottenham Hotspur
Spurs are controlling the play, but have yet to find a goal in Russia.
Dinamo Zagreb 0-2 Juventus
Gonzalo Higuain and Miralem Pjanic have the goals for The Old Lady.
Borussia Dortmund 1-1 Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo got on the scoresheet, though the hosts have been by far the more dangerous side. USMNT teenager Christian Pulisic is on the bench for BVB.
Thomas Tuchel’s side threatened to score through a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang rocketed a shot just over the frame, and the Gabonese man made it 1-1 soon after when Keylor Navas punched Raphael Guerriero’s free kick off Raphael Varane. Aubameyang touched it over the line for an academic marker.
Here’s Ronaldo’s goal:
Sevilla 0-0 Lyon
Monaco 0-0 Bayer Leverkusen
Copenhagen 0-0 Club Brugge
Sporting CP 2-0 Legia Warsaw
The Seattle Sounders may yet make a playoff appearance, but it will be without Clint Dempsey.
The USMNT star recently returned to training with the team after dealing with an irregular heartbeat.
[ MORE: Big Sam canned ]
Sounders general manager Garth Lagerway made the announcement on Tuesday.
“If we prioritize this now, hopefully we can get Dempsey back in 2017.”
That does not seem to bode well for his participation with the United States men’s national team, which has October friendlies with Cuba and New Zealand before the first two matches of the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying in November.
Fortunately for the Sounders, both Jordan Morris and Nicolas Lodeiro have their upped their games in his absence, and Andreas Ivanschitz has been decent as well.
Seattle is five points back of fifth place Sporting KC, and three back of sixth place Portland. The Sounders have played two less matches than both sides.